Sinclair, the writer and socialist, ran for governor of
California on the Democratic ticket. His 1934 platform
was entitled “End Poverty in California” (EPIC), and its
goal was to turn over factories and agricultural land
laying fallow to workers to be run as cooperatives.
Sinclair argued that traditional relief operations
financially benefited political machines rather than the
poor. He felt that farm and industrial
cooperatives—voluntary, democratic, and jointly owned
enterprises created to meet economic and social
needs—were the most effective way to employ more than
750,000 unemployed and underemployed Californians.
Proponents of EPIC called for “public welfare against
private greed” and hoped to build a new society that
ended mass poverty through peaceful and orderly methods.
Sinclair believed that his approach was not radical, but
based in the American values of self-reliance,
initiative, and equality.
Myers-Lipton, p. 165
(Excerpted from “Social Solutions to Poverty”
© Paradigm Publishers